Skip to content

Broncos make most of opportunities to take win over Warriors in Game 1

Swift Current score pair in first and second periods before going on to 7-2 win to claim steal home-ice advantage

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM -- The Swift Current Broncos have drawn first blood in the Western Hockey League Eastern Conference semifinal with the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Despite seeing the Warriors hold a large territorial advantage throughout Game 1 of the best-of-seven series and a ton of chances, the Broncos made the most of their opportunities and went on to a 7-2 victory at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.

Broncos goaltender Reid Dyck was one of the major factors in the game, making huge save after huge save throughout the contest. His case wasn’t hurt in any way by the Warriors being unable to hit the net on the vast majority of their opportunities, but in the end, it’s about the shots saved at big moments, and Dyck had more than his fair share of them as he turned aside 32 on the night.

“It was awesome, we had a long time off so we were excited to get it going,” the Boston Bruins prospect said outside a raucous Broncos dressing room. “We know they have a good team with a lot of good outside shooters, so we had to manage their pushes at the start and tie up their top guys and not let them take over, and I thought we did a great job of that today. We got the result we wanted, but now we have to focus on the next one and keep going.”

Both teams had a handful of chances to get on the board as the first period progressed, but in general scoring opportunities were hard to come by in the early going. 

That included the first goal of the game, where what looked like an innocent shot on net from the point saw Brady Birnie outduel a pair of Warrior defenders and chip the puck in the net with 5:11 remaining in the period.

Just over a minute later, a pass from the back of the net deflected in front right to the Bronco’s Josh Filmon in the slot, and he got off a shot that beat Jackson Unger glove side for the 2-0 lead.

Moose Jaw received the first two power plays of the game in the final three minutes of the first period and had a few good looks, but struggled to put the puck on net. As a result, the Broncos escaped both opportunities without giving up a goal.

The Warriors nearly got on the board just after the second power play ended early in the second when Lynden Lakovic had time and space on a one-timer in the slot, but Dyck would make a great glove save to preserve the shutout.

Swift Current received their first power play with 7:58 gone in the third, and it took only 33 seconds for the Broncos to score. Some quick puck movement led to Filmon getting off a perfect shot top shelf glove side and his crew had a three-goal lead.

Just over 10 minutes later, it was 4-0, thanks to Birnie being left all alone on his wing and the puck redirecting off an Owen Pickering pass and slipping into the back of the net.

The Warriors had a glorious chance to get one back with 5:42 to play in the second when Brayden Yager had a wide-open net on his backhand, but he put the shot off the post and the four-goal edge held.

Moose Jaw finally started to generate regular pressure after that goal, leading to the Broncos taking their third minor with 3:55 to play in the period, and the Warriors would finally break through.

After Dyck made a couple of huge saves, Yager picked up a deflection off his own shot and put the puck top shelf from the slot to make it 4-1 with 1:28 to play in the frame.

Moose Jaw then got back within two with 12 seconds left in the period. Voytech Port got off a shot from the point that regular-season scoring leader Jagger Firkus tipped in front and between Dyck’s legs to make it 4-2 through two.

An offensive zone turnover led to the Broncos’ fifth goal, with Connor Hvidston keeping on a two-on-one and beating Unger top shelf blocker side 4:50 into the third.

The Warriors had another great chance immediately after that goal, but Dyck stopped Martin Rysavy in close on a two-on-one.

Not long after that goal, it was 6-2, thanks to another two-on-one and another shot top shelf blocker side, this time by Mathew Ward with 7:18 gone in the period

That was the end of the night for Unger, who left the game having allowed six goals on 24 shots in 47:18 of work.

Things didn’t change whatsoever despite the goaltending switch, as a turnover at the Warriors blueline led to Ty Coupland going in on a breakaway and beating Dmitri Fortin with a backhand top shelf.

That capped scoring on the night, and the Broncos had their win in Game 1.

Fortin finished with seven saves on the night.

The two teams are right back in action for Game 2 on Saturday night, with puck drop at 7 p.m. at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks